Dear Readers, you really know your poems! On the basic quiz, Mike at Alittlebitoutoffocus got 7 out of 10, while FEARN, Anne and Fran and Bobby Freelove all got 10 out of 10 on matching the plants to the poems. Fran and Bobby then went the extra mile by also getting some of the poets, giving them a total of 16 out of 20. But runaway winner this week, with an amazing 20 out of 20 was Anne. Well done Anne! A fantastic result, but you should all be very proud of yourselves, and thank you for playing. Now, I wonder what will happen tomorrow?
1.C) Daffodils – ‘I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud’ by William Wordsworth. My Mum used to know this by heart, as she did many poems.
2. E) Cuckoo-pint/Lords and Ladies – ‘Cuckoo-pint’ by Blake Morrison. I love some of the imagery in this – the brown matchstick, the half-unrolled umbrella. Blake Morrison is better known as a writer of prose, but I think this is a most creditable work.
3. H) Ivy – ‘ To the Ivy’ by John Clare. I doubt there was ever a better poet of our ‘weeds’, and I make no apology for including Clare twice.
4. J) Himalayan Balsam – ‘HImalayan Balsam’ by Anne Stevenson. What a great description this is! The whole poem is a feast.
5.D) Saguaro (Giant) Cactus – ‘To the Saguaro Cactus Tree in the Desert Rain’ by James Wright. Wright is a new poet to me, but I love that opening image of the owl peering from a hole in the tree.
6.A) Autumn Crocus – ‘Autumn Crocus’ by Ruth Fainlight. Such lovely close observation, and I love the way that the religious and natural imagery seem to infuse one another.
7. G) Yarrow – ‘The Yarrow’ by John Clare. Look how he notices the leaves of the yarrow, and the way that the colour of the flowers varies! The man was a genius.
8. B) Daisy – ‘To a Mountain Daisy – On Turning One Down With the Plough, in April 1786’ by Robert Burns. I love how Burns can move from the tiniest daisy to the existential fate of all human beings in a few verses. You might not want to read all of this if you’re already feeling glum.
9.I) Thistle – ‘Thistles’ by Ted Hughes. What a ‘male’ poem this is! I love Ted Hughes’s imagery in this, though, what with all those Vikings.
10.F) Gorse/Whin – ‘Whinlands’ by Seamus Heaney. Oh Seamus. What a poet. His poems always seem to involve an opening-out to me. At the end of them I just want to stare into space for a bit.